Security to be stepped up at Aussie wildlife park after 22 wallaby deaths

CANBERRA (XINHUA) - Security in an Australian wildlife park will be ramped up after 22 wallabies were killed in the reserve in the past four months.

A review of animal cruelty in the East Point Reserve near Darwin in the Northern Territory uncovered that among the 22 deaths, 12 were caused by vehicles.

The review was prompted after a pony named Pearl, which belonged to an equestrian club within the reserve, was shot dead with arrows in October 2016.

Of the 12 wallabies killed by vehicles, the local council found that eight of them were intentional acts involving illegal entry to restricted areas of the 200ha park.

Under Australian law, the maximum penalty for killing native wildlife is a US$60,000 (S$79.300) fine or up to five years of imprisonment.

At a City of Darwin council meeting on Wednesday (Feb 21) night, the City Operations Committee called for the number of security patrols around the park to be increased immediately.

The committee recommended a host of security upgrades, including installing closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, a major lighting upgrade in popular areas and tightening park access regulations.

Under the current rules, vehicles are not allowed in the reserve between 11pm and 5am, but pedestrians are welcome at all times.

"I would think common sense would say that one of the first things we would do is look at restricting the hours," City of Darwin councillor Rebecca Want de Rowe told the meeting.

"If we do decide to go down that path, that would have to go to public consultation."